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New Leadership at the Institute for Shipboard Education

The Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) recently announced that President and CEO Les McCabe is stepping down from his leadership role to pursue professional opportunities in his home state of California. Loren Crabtree, ISE trustee and former chancellor of the University of Tennessee, will serve as interim president for ISE until an appointment has been made.

Chairman of the ISE Board of Trustees Michael Segal stated, ‚ÄúUnder Dr. McCabe’s leadership, ISE has become the leader in global education with our signature academic program, Semester at Sea. Les is our friend, we are sad to see him leave the Institute after twenty-six years, and we wish him the very best for his future.‚Äù

In November 2006, McCabe became the third president of ISE, the parent organization of world-renowned study abroad program Semester at Sea (SAS). McCabe led a number of efforts that created milestone events for the Institute including Semester at Sea’s first visits to Vietnam and Cuba. In addition, McCabe was instrumental in increasing the Institute’s international reach by establishing partnership agreements with universities in Greece, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

McCabe is grateful for having had the opportunity to serve Semester at Sea for so many years. “I have been privileged to lead a team of dedicated and passionate professionals at ISE,” said McCabe. “I look forward to continuing my support of the program and wish them every success under the leadership of interim president, Loren Crabtree.”

Dr. Loren W. Crabtree holds a B.A., M.A. and PhD in History and Asian Studies from the University of Minnesota. His teaching and administrative career includes service at Bethel College, Colorado State University (where he served as professor, dean and provost), Arizona State University, and the University of Tennessee. Loren’s academic specialization is 20th-century Chinese history, with a special interest in Chinese-American relations, and his administrative career emphasizes preparing students to be ‘ready for the world.’

“I look forward to working closely with our management team and employees, with Les’ support during this transition period, to continue to grow and develop Semester at Sea’s outstanding global education programs,” said Crabtree.

A committee appointed by the Board is launching a national search for Dr. McCabe’s successor. Mr. Gary Ransdell, President of Western Kentucky University, chairs the committee. The committee will interview top candidates and recommend finalists to the Board. 

“Les’ leadership has set the standard high, and identifying the best person to serve as the Institute’s next president will be an exciting challenge,” said Michael Segal. “We are committed to conducting a thorough, nationwide search for the ideal person to provide the vision and guidance to build on the sound foundation that has been established and guide the Institute of Shipboard Education as it continues to build its leadership in global education.”

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